PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Local law enforcement is on the move today, running 150 miles to support Special Olympics.
The Summer Games start in just a few days, and many from our area will help carry the torch across the state.READ MORE: Paperless Ticketing Leads To Long Lines Outside Heinz Field Ahead Of Steelers Game
Their journey started here at PNC Park, but over 200 members of law enforcement will carry the torch clear to Penn State University where the Summer Games will be held later this week.
Athletes took their first steps to get the Summer Games started by carrying the Flame of Hope around the bases at PNC Park. The torch was then handed off to law enforcement who will carry it 150 miles.
“As Guardians of the Flame, we will take the Flame of Hope and we will carry it every mile all the way up to State College,” said Commander Scott Schubert, of Pittsburgh Police.
The torch was carried through the streets of Pittsburgh this morning.
In its third year, the “Be a Fan Torch Run” brings law enforcement personnel together from all across the state. They join forces to complete the trek, eventually lighting the cauldron to kick off the Pennsylvania Special Olympics 2013 Summer Games where thousands will compete.READ MORE: T.J. Watt Suffers Groin Injury, Won't Return To Sunday's Steelers Game
“I just think it’s really nice because they understand us. And I just wish people would understand us,” said Jess Clayton, one of the athletes. “We’re not like the word, the “r” word; what people say about us. We’re like everyone else and that’s why God made us – to be like everyone else.”
Clayton has become a spokesperson for Special Olympics and praised the good work her friends do every year.
Last year in Pennsylvania, they raised a million dollars. Commander Schubert says it’s not just about raising funds, but raising awareness.
“We try and make it as fun as we can, but in the end it’s all done for one thing and that’s for the athletes,” he said.
The Summer Games will be held from June 6 to June 8.MORE NEWS: Pittsburgh Police Investigating Shooting In Homewood